SPLC Awards Over $11M to 55 Civic Groups across Deep South as Part of Its Vote Your Voice Initiative

Staff Report

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced Vote Your Voice grants to 55 civic groups and voter outreach organizations across the Deep South totaling $11,285,000. 

Earlier rounds of Vote Your Voice grants focused on voter mobilization for the 2020 election. Today's grants will be multi-year and support voter mobilization in local elections and the 2022 midterm elections as well as wider civic engagement activities in redistricting, voting rights advocacy and voting rights restoration. Another development in the initiative is the sheer number of groups supported – representing a range of staff and volunteer sizes, geographic and population focus, and strategic approaches to community engagement.

“The work to build a multiracial democracy where everyone is represented and has a say can't just happen in the months before an election,” said Margaret Huang, CEO and President of the SPLC. “This work must be sustained year-round, every year, so that we can have equitable participation and representation in our democratic systems — especially with the newly passed state laws that will make voter registration and voting more difficult. Today’s announcement that the Vote Your Voice initiative has provided multi-year grants to 55 organizations of all sizes across the Deep South will support that vital democracy-building work.”

What unites these 55 organizations, primarily led by people of color, is their demonstrated previous success in empowering communities of color, LGBTQ communities, Native communities, immigrant communities, communities of faith, returning citizens and young people in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Examples of grants include:

  • Faith in Action in Florida will work with congregations across the state to engage community members in voting and other civic actions through virtual town halls, community events such as food giveaways, church activities, phone banking and texting, among other strategies.

  • Center for Pan Asian Community Services in Georgia is building on its network as a service provider to Atlanta's Asian American population to encourage voter participation through multilingual outreach that will include information at service sites, phone banking, texting, social media outreach, events and bus tours.

  • Southern Echo in Mississippi will engage in year-round voter registration and mobilization; the organization also will lead redistricting training sessions and help community members to develop sample district maps that best represent their communities.

The $11,285,000 announced in grants today is broken down as follows:

  • $1,365,000 to nine groups in Alabama

  • $3,160,000 to 12 groups in Florida

  • $2,920,000 to 15 groups in Georgia

  • $1,100,000 to six groups in Louisiana

  • $1,040,000 to five groups in Mississippi

  • $1,700,000 to eight groups doing work across multiple states 

Across all rounds of grants so far since the initiative’s announcement in June 2020, $23,330,000 has been distributed throughout the five states. The 55 grant recipients and amounts distributed in this round are at the conclusion of this release.

Announced in June 2020, Vote Your Voice is an initiative between the SPLC and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to invest up to $30 million through 2022 from the SPLC's endowment to engage voters and increase voter registration, education and participation; support Black- and brown-led organizations often ignored by traditional funders; support and prototype effective voter engagement strategies; and re-enfranchise returning citizens despite intentional bureaucratic challenges. 

Additional Vote Your Voice information and previous grantees in the three previous rounds may be found here: https://www.splcenter.org/vote-your-voice

The complete list of today’s announced grants can also be found here: https://cfgreateratlanta.org/2021/04/28/splc-awards-11-million/ 

2021-2022 GRANTS